Testimony of a Hermit
by Gina Duffey

I admit that I have been in and out of church for years. I always knew somehow that we had to live for God, that it was vital. I "rededicated" my life to the Lord numerous times, each time getting plugged back in to one church or another. No matter what church I went to or how long I stayed, I was never satisfied deep in my heart that what I was hearing, seeing, or doing was real. The bible says and the churches teach that when we "give our lives to Jesus" we will be a new creature where old things are passed away and all things become new. Even though I truly believed this, I knew it wasn't a reality in my life, nor the lives of others in my church. I didn't come across too many people though who felt as discontent as I was about it. Most seemed perfectly satisfied and "assured of their salvation" whereas I wasn't most of the time. So, after a time of really, really trying, I would eventually quit. I'd go back to the world. Some say that's backsliding but I usually figured I was never really saved to start with. This cycle continued for many years.

It may have appeared that I was playing games or that I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted God or if I wanted this world, but I kept trying to serve him and giving up when I didn't see in myself what I saw promised in the bible. I was trying in my own strength and according to what is taught in church. But it never worked. It would have been fine if I could have just accepted that the new creation was spiritual and not to be taken literally. I was told that I just needed to have faith that all the promises are true in the spirit realm no matter what I saw in my life. I was reassured a hundred times that I was saved and on my way to Heaven and I needed to trust in that. I knew in my own heart I was not a changed or a new person. I was still aware of darkness in my heart and I couldn't ignore it but I didn't understand at the time what it was or what it meant or what to do about it.

Many people didn't take my "Christianity" serious anymore after a couple rounds of in and out (who could blame them) but God never gave up. The bible says that He knows the thoughts and the intents of the heart and he knew that I desired him, he knew I wanted REAL and wasn't satisfied with shallow or fake. Looking back I see myself as playing and splashing around with a bunch of friends in the shallow end of the pool but for whatever reason I wasn't satisfied. I wanted the deep end. Eventually I realized I wanted the whole ocean. I'm here to tell anyone that cares to know that if you aren't content with what they are selling in the churches, there is so much more. But deep calls unto deep and if you're satisfied at the shallow end you will not even be able to hear the call.

I heard it, it just took me a long time to answer because I didn't understand what I was hearing. But the Lord is so merciful and faithful and he brought me out of the secular church, which is full to the rim with lies. I had a false gospel. He has graciously shown me the truth and now I am satisfied and content and thrilled to know with complete assurance that what I have is the real thing. I'm in the ocean now.